2/26/12

Vampires, Heroes, and Magic! Oh my!: Obsession on a Budget

I am easily obsessed by movies and television shows. For me, a great movie might merit multiple visits to the theater. Some of my worst offenses? 

Twilight: 13 big screen viewings. (Yeah. I'm one of those. So sue me!)

Ironman II: 8 close-up inspections. 

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: present on 6 occasions.

It's not all as pathetic as it sounds. It's not as if I'm spending the kind of money some ladies pour into their highlights and manicures. (A haircut every couple of months will suffice if I have a coupon.) 

I'm not paying the Saturday night prices for my fixations. I rarely even shell out for the “before 6pm” shows. No, for me it's the $5 first show of the day special all the way, baby! If I'm gunning for more once it's left the nice theater, I have but to wait for it to resurface at the second-run place. Sure, the bathrooms are worse than the seediest K-Mart in town, and the floors are so sticky your shoes go “sklitch, sklitch, sklitch” as you proceed to your seat, but for a mere $1.50 admission, I'll tough it out!

2/23/12

Where is Marsha Lucas?

George and Marsha in a cutting room, when
there was still actual cutting to be done.
I admit, I'm sad I missed those days. 
That question ran through my mind last week while I watched the Star Wars special features on a lunch break. (Ah, the glories of working from home...)

I've seen black and white pictures of this lovely phantom. I knew she was an editor, that she was integral to the success of Star Wars, and that she was once just as connected to Coppola, Spielberg and Kubrick as her legendary husband.

But after one black and white still of her popped up in the hours-long documentary about Star Wars, I took note of the almost dismissive nature of it. "Yeah, yeah...she was there too and stuff. We guess."

I've heard Lucas talk about his divorce on the "Temple of Doom" special features. He said it was a terrible dark time in his life. But all of the sudden it hit me. Where did she go?

So I Googled "Where did Marsha Lucas go?" and THIS WAS THE TOP RESULT. A fascinating and in-depth article about just exactly where she went on a website called Secret History of Star Wars. And can I just tell you, my heart sort of sank as I read. Here was this woman, independently doing what she already loved to do and being rewarded for it on her own, and in some ways, really personifying the "woman behind the man" idea.

And she has essentially been erased. Can you blame George? I guess not. It's his empire. Or is it? She was there too...but then again, according to the article all she ever wanted was a normal life. So maybe that's what she got. Exactly what she wanted, to be excluded from the empire she saw amassing before her eyes. I'll certainly watch the story of Anakin and Padme unfold in a different way now.

So, that's Marsha on the left holding an Oscar...
for editing Star Wars. Yet she's never in any of the
Special Features. Again, maybe it's by choice. But I
wish I could hear her talking about making the movies too.
I still love George as if he were the distant uncle who forgot all my birthdays or something. (You don't pretend George Lucas and Steven Spielberg are your uncles? Oh...me either.) I mean, who am I as a fangirl to judge whatever happened in their personal lives? Nobody, that's who. I've never been a big fan of the "Let's all hate George Lucas for doing as he darn well pleases." crowd. That would just be ungrateful. The man brought us Star Wars, let him add whatever he wants. I'll be happy to go see it in 3D and Real D and whatever other dimension he wants to release it in.

I just...all of the sudden I feel as confused as Sally Draper. I guess more than anything else, I want to know more about Marsha Lucas. So I guess I just feel kind of...robbed of the history? Yeah, I guess that's it.

Also, I had a doll named Marsha when I was a kid. So maybe it's subliminal...who knows? Just read the article. It's fascinating. And for a woman like me, I
guess a little terrifying.

2/13/12

Captain Picard, Meet Dr. Who

Q's V-Day Tip. And is it just me, or is John De Lancie
looking quite a bit like Nathan Fillion here??? 
So, you just know I love crossovers.

And this amazing bit of news popped up on facebook tonight and gave me something to look forward to. (Something to which I can look forward? Eh...I'm almost 30, I guess I can end my sentences with prepositions when I want to. Look I did it again!)

Just this week I was watching a random episode of Buffy while cleaning the kitchen and Buffy was talking to Giles, Riley and Xander saying, "You're like my fairy Godmother and Santa Claus and Q all wrapped up into one. Q from Bond, not Star Trek." It really got my wheels turning on crossovers that I would love to see happen in comic book form.

I mean, comics are unlimited. You can do whatever you want with them. It's what makes them the perfect format to use when you need to bridge time periods in fictional universes. (Countdown, anyone?)

If you could create a crossover, what would it be?

One of my big dreams was always to write a Next Gen/Sherlock Holmes crossover novel. (I have kind of a problem writing about Star Trek, in that I've never been able to stop doing it.) I always wanted more holodeck shenanigans with Dr. Moriarty. In fact, it's one of the reasons why I went to grad school. (There's even a really terrible copy of my first stab at it floating around the internet still! Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to self-publish.) Whether you had an agent or not, you used to be able to pitch your ideas and back in the day, (2008)  having an M.A. in creative writing was like having a free ticket to get your pitch heard.

You will never know the epic facepalm that happened when I saw that the publishing company no longer accepted unsolicited pitches by the time I earned my degree. Worst. Day. Ever.


Come...let us facepalm together in remembrance of my terrible idea....

You know what's funny?

Lots of stuff.

And since I've been Captain Depresso here at BFG for several weeks now, I thought it might be reassuring to let you know that the "Geek" in Born For Geekdom has been very present in my life as of late, inter-mingling with all of my heady over-thinking. And not just in a way that relates to movies or pop culture. In the good-old-fashioned sense of the word. After all, the word geek has two definitions.

1. A person with an eccentric devotion to a particular interest.

This you know about me. But wait! There's more!

2. An unfashionable or socially inept person.

And while I have discarded the bowl cut and vulcan bangs of my shameful style past, the social ineptness continues.

Example: My husband has started a new job recently. I was visiting him there one day when nature called. I, like many others, do not enjoy public restrooms. In fact, my least favorite kinds are the stall-less ones where the toilet is far enough away from the door that should the lock happen to be broken (as it always is) and should someone try to come in while you are using said toilet, there would be nothing you could do about it but sit there and look pretty. For this, they should invent some kind of long extendable stick that you can carry around in your purse just so you can hold the door shut from across the room. Someone call Ron Popeil. Right now. (Don't look at me like that, it's not my fault if you don't know who Ron Popeil is. Look it up!)

They should at least label this stupid layout so that people can be forewarned. "Warning: You are about to enter a restroom that uses the Machiavelli's rectangle Non-Feng-Shui Friendly Layout. Enter at your own risk."

This particular restroom just happened to be of the very same variety. However, it did have all kinds of fancy accessories. There were magazines and candles. Yes. Plural. TWO burnings candles. There was an area rug and even some body splash on a jaunty little end table. "Feel safe!" called the little bathroom. But I knew better.

I was not lured in by these false comforts. In fact, I almost went back to my husband's office to ask him to come and stand guard. Yes, my husband is truly my guardian and protector. In every gas station and public restroom, he will stand guard outside the door just in case the lock might be broken. I think more people should write this into their wedding vows. Just a suggestion.

"I promise to love you forever and be faithful and stand guard outside bathrooms across the country and generally allow you to give in to some of your weirder obsessive compulsive worries instead of telling you how dumb they are, even though they are actually really dumb. Seriously."

But I decided to woman up. I pep talked myself. "Come on, it's JUST a bathroom. What could possibly happen?"

Well of course, someone jiggled the door handle and tried to come in while I was in there. And do you know what I came up with? Not the all-time favorite "Someone's in here!" No. I said it in Spanish.

"Uno momento por favor! Uno momento, POR FAVOR!"

I didn't just say it in Spanish. I yelled it. Don't ask me why, because I don't know. It just happened. Without my permission. Apparently, the panicked version of my brain is a classy Spanish lady. I think she might be a land baroness. Or Chita Rivera from "Bye Bye Birdie".

But anyway, I thought I should tell you that these things are still happening to me on a regular basis. I am still having awkward conversations with strangers and tripping and falling in public places and going about my normal geek life even though I'm posting very long blogs about feelings and foreign films.  So I'm okay. I promise.

Don't cry for me Argentina. But please, knock before you come into the bathroom.

Muchos Gracias.

I promise to think of this every time I think about posting another blog whining about being stressed out about my job.


2/11/12

What Makes the Indiana Jones Special Features So Special?

My sister and I always talk about how the special features are the best part to any box set or movie collection. But I think that needs a qualifier. As with anything else, not all special features are created equal.

For example, I hate the features that just show clips of the movie spliced with interview footage and all the interview footage contains is an actor or director talking about the plot beat by beat. I know what happens dummies, I watched the movie...

So scratch "special features" that are really just junket footage.

Then there are special features that show us how green screen works. We got it.

I want depth. I want those blood, sweat and tears stories. Take "The Return of the King" behind-the-scenes for example. Nobody is spared and at times, the documentary-level details paint Peter Jackson in a far less than flattering light. They show the stress the crew is under as Jackson makes constant changes they can't keep up with, the lack of sleep that generates a cloud over all involved and the painstaking side of excruciating makeup and prosthetics processes that could easily lead anyone having to endure them to a nervous breakdown.

For my money, I guess I'd be legally required to say that the LOTR features are technically the best because of their length and unprecedented access to the deep, dark corners of filmmaking that most productions try to hide. I'm sorry to have to tell you this everyone, but the production business, even on the lowest of levels, is 80% unpleasantness. It's pain up until the moment of delivery, where all you can do is hope against hope that some glimmer of joy or intention shines through the months of hard work and awkwardness on set or clashes with the crew. And I do love the LOTR special features so so much. For Pete's sake (literally) I've wept over them.

BUT. They're my second favorite.

To me, the best special features of all time have to be the ones that come in the Indiana Jones Trilogy box set. (I don't own the quadrilogy as a box set, but I do have KOTCS separately. And that's an entirely separate blog.)

There's a reason why the Indy special features are my favorite and it has nothing to do with the fact that "the Indys" are probably my most-loved movies. It's that the features themselves echo the stories, the making-of shows a grueling, hands-on practical process that made these stories happen...

2/5/12

"I choose Vodka. And Chaka Khan."

Hide me Bridget! Take me
with you!!!
Hey, you know what's good for self-pity and depression? This news!

Bridget Jones 3 Is Happening This Year!!!

Please come back Bridget! I thought it was happening once before, but I was wrong. But please, I really need you to return and make me feel better about my current state of embarrassing disheveled-ness!

This also helps depression, but I have work in the morning. So it's not practical...





Bollywood Breakdown

I think I'm headed toward a nervous breakdown. That's not a thing anymore though, is it? The Mayo Clinic states on their website that the diagnosis is no longer relevant or applicable. They have disavowed all knowledge of the nervous breakdown. It was too overreaching and general, used too often. The way they used to call women hysterical for any old reason.

So what is this? This sickening but rhythmic pounding of my heart that seems to happen at the drop of a hat. That keeps me awake in the wee, small hours of the morning for no reason at all. That is...when I do get to sleep. Is it panic? Anxiety? It's new, this  creeping stalking thing.

Work has been overwhelming. Frustrating. Exhausting. Impossible. No days off. Barely any money. No end in sight.

My body tells me I'm panicking. Adrenaline pumps. I sit alone in front of my laptop, answering work emails. One may come in, say it's particularly frustrating, and the physical symptoms pump through my body with every heart beat. I feel rage. My chest literally tightens. Fight or flight kicks in. It's as though I'm over-caffeinated, even when I haven't had any coffee. I love my job, so much. The people I work with. For.

But it's the extra things that go along with it. The having to repeat myself constantly. The extra work that isn't really my responsibility, but if I don't do it, it doesn't get done. I redraw my borders weekly. Here is my boundary. Don't cross it. But I keep moving the line back and back and back and back....it's starting to form the shape of a downward spiral.